Avocado & Lime Tart

For a healthier alternative to cheesecake! 


Average per serving: Cal = 370 Total time:20 minutes prep + chilling or freezing time

I was drawn to this recipe because quite frankly I thought “that… sounds gross” I was intrigued therefore decided why not! Safe to say… I was pleasantly surprised. I always say this but i think this has to be one of my favorite desserts yet.

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As you can see above, I decided to make it my breakfast (modelling the bed head hair, sleepy eyes and dressing gown) I had ONE slice and I was FULL.

This desert contains a high amount of healthy fats and soluble fibre, meaning it helps slow down the breakdown process of carbohydrates in the body, making you feel fuller for longer.

Try it out!

coconut

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A FRIEND RECOMMENDS! – because Sundays are for baking

I owe this one to Sammy!

Sunday was nearly over and me and my friends had just about had enough with Contextuals; our end of term college project. I was craving EVERYTHING *something deep fried and smothered in chocolate* Shrek reference, inside joke, sorry, carrying on. Eating is what I do when I’m stressed, for some reason it’s hard wired into me to run to the fridge whenever things get too much. Holler to all the other comfort/procrastination eaters out there, you’re not alone. Thankfully Sammy rushes in to save me. She’d been baking, because what other day is more perfect for it than a Sunday?! – she knows! When I saw them, my heart sank. “I can’t I’m sorry… I’m gluten intolerant” (if I was to have a catchphrase, I think this would be it). Story of my life.

But! to my surprise… “So am I!” she responded. You can imagine how my eyes lit up. Girl you are a genius. Gluten-free corn-flake cakes. HOW did I not think of this before?! I used to love these as a child, but ever since being diagnosed with chronic IBS I have stayed far, far away from anything breakfast cereal related.

BUT NOW…..  I DO BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD

#queuespontaneousscreaching #elphabadreams #notevensorry

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What You’ll Need:

  • 3 Cups GoFree Gluten Free Honey Flakes – (found these in Sainsbury’s) 
  • 100g Dark Chocolate – (or use whatever you have laying around – i’m sure you’ll have no trouble licking the bowl if there’s some left over)
  • 3 tsps Peanut Butter – I used Meridian Coconut & Peanut Butter If you’re confused by cup measurements, then use this converter! ← 

Instructions:cornflakesgofree

  1. Pour the Honey Flakes into a large bowl.
  2. Melt the chocolate and peanut butter over a low-medium heat until thoroughly melted (try to resist temptation to microwave.. this mixture burns easily)
  3. Prepare a baking tray and line with baking parchment or tinfoil. 
  4. Cover the Honey flakes in the chocolate mixture and mold into balls! You should make around 20 but go ahead and make less by making them bigger!
  5. Place on the tray and let them sit in the refrigerator for around 25 minutes.

 

And that’s your lot! Simple. Fun & blumming lovely!

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Lets talk: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Learning to Live( With added gluten & dairy information to help relieve symptoms )
hospitakhospitakhospitak


 

You’d think I’d be ready to pop any day with the size of my poor tummy. My ‘bump’ as i call it is in fact a side effect of my syndrome.

what-is-ibs

THE BANE OF MY LIFE,THAT’S WHAT IT ISNow I never intended to share my ridiculously troublesome bowel movements with the entire world because to be quite frank, some may find it quite gross. Never-the-less, I am channeling my inner WonderWoman-RossWonder-Woman and DOING THIS FOR THE GREATER GOOD. This is for the others out there who are suffering in silence, as I did for many years. If you are living with the constant pain, and the added embarrassment of it’s symptoms, then let me assure you, you are not alone.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an dysfunctional disorder of the gut, which can be quite variable and include minor to severe abdominal pain depending on the individual. There is no known cure.

“…I have considered maternity pants”

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Fancy… 

♦ Common Symptoms include:

• Pain in the tummy • Bloating • Diarrheoa and/ or • Constipation (which can last up to several days depending on severity…)

I have often pleaded with doctors to give me some magic pill in order to immediately rid me of my constant discomfort, and stop me looking like I’m ready to pop out a pair of 10lb twins… I have considered maternity pants. The cause of IBS is not known, thus there being no treatment, but most who are afflicted by it have sensitivity of the gut and inflammation of the lining within the digestive system, causing all sorts of mayhem.

So what can you do to improve the symptoms?

…”If there’s one thing I DESPISE about my condition, is that it makes me not want to dance. That’s how I know this is something that needs to be taken seriously”

healthy eating no 1

  • Plenty of Fruit and vegetables – it’s really not that difficult to get your 5 a day in!
  • Limited amounts of foods high in fat and sugars. Replace saturated fats found in animal products such as butter, cheese, meats, cakes, biscuits etc. with unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, avocados, nuts and seeds. Although eat in moderation!
  • Starchy Foods – Potatoes with the skins are a great source of fibre! Also, get into the habit of choosing wholegrain and wholemeal alternatives to your cereal, bread, rice and pasta.
  • Dairy –  Try to go for skimmed/ lower fat versions. Alternatively, it is a good idea to implement soya varieties! or even rice, almond and coconut milks.
  • Protein! – Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, whilst also being a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals. Meat is a source of protein, but try to eat lean cuts and skinless poultry whenever possible to cut down on fat. Fish is another great source and is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for the body. Try to stock up on a variety of beans and pulses too, they are great sources of protein and taste delicious!
  • PLENTY OF FLUID – 2 litres daily, herbal teas included! Peppermint is great for reducing bloating and chamomile tea for stress.

did_you_know_splat_transparent.pngIBS is more common in those who have a hectic lifestyle, and/or suffer from stress and anxiety. There are many connections between the brain and the gut (small intestine). Psychological factors, the nervous system and muscle contractions all interact with each other and is known as the ‘brain-gut axis’. Therefore it is important to implement stress management.

  • Chill.. It’s important to rest. Make time for some relaxation. My favorite method is meditation and a full body massage, and seeking support helps too. Talking about ones feelings is completely normal can relieve a tonne of pressure. This could be a counselor or even just close friends and family.
  • Have a regular meal pattern 
  • Exercise – I find swimming and yoga helps!
  • Take your time and chew – I make it a priority to every morning too make sure I have at least 10 minutes set aside for breakfast. I sit down in a quiet space and eliminate all social media and technology, in order to relax and reflect. Taking time to be present and concentrate on one thing is extremely beneficial.
  • Portion Control – IBS sufferers are better eating smaller portions and more regularly. Large meals can trigger symptoms.
  • Avoid ice cold foods – these can upset the muscles in the stomach causing them to contract, with IBS you need to aim to keep your GI tract as calm as possible.
  • Try not to skip meals – this can be a hard one for some people if the intestines are swollen. It is hard as it tricks the body into feeling like it is full (one issue I struggle with) but even if this is the case, you MUST still eat!
  • Avoid Chewing Gum – It causes you to swallow excess air, which can trigger problems
  • Don’t eat late at night! – I’m one for a cheeky midnight snack…..
  • Get enough sleep! – Sleeping gives the body time to heal! Let it do it’s job and get at least 8 hours every night, it will speed up recovery.
  • Take a probiotic! – 20 minutes before every meal take one of these. Acidophilus capsules contain a number of bacterial cultures to provide the body with an additional source of the micro-organisms that are naturally found throughout the digestive system. I have THESE

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I’d like to think I have a pretty healthy diet, and that I follow the majority of the pointers listed above, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. It may be that some, like myself need more specific diet changes to manage symptoms.

GLUTEN – Gluten is made of a family of proteins, the two main influences being Glutenin and Gliadin, the latter being responsible for most of the negative health effects. When flour and water is mixed, the gluten proteins form a sticky texture that has a glue-like consistency giving the product the ability to bind. Gluten is found in grains like wheat, rye, spelt and barley. Here’s a list of foods to AVOID and foods TO EAT! 

DAIRY – Milk, butter, cheese, all cream, ice cream, whipped cream, cream- cheese, yogurt, etc are all a Irritable Bowel Syndrome Triggers, even if you’re not lactose intolerant. Dairy products contain proteins such as whey and Casein,  Casein being the one found in most dairy products. Baby cows come with a special enzyme in their stomachs called rennet, which is designed especially to break down casein.  Humans do not have this enzyme therefore we find it very hard to digest. Most common in those who have IBS-C.

CAFFEINE – Caffeine is a diuretic and can also worsen the effect of diarrhoea symptoms. Limit tea and coffee to no more that three cups a day. You will also see improvement in other areas of your health too, including your sleep!

ALCOHOL & FIZZY DRINKS – Again, these can worsen the effects of diarrhoea, so limiting these is a good idea. Know your limits – no more than 2 units a day!  (a unit of alcohol equates to: 1 25 ml shot of spirits – half a pint of 3-4% larger/beer – one small 125ml glass of 11% wine) 

RESISTANT STARCHES – These are starches resistant to digestion in the small intestine (gut) This means that when they reach the colon and ferment due to the bacteria in our gut, thus producing gas and waste. This leads to bloating, wind and diarrhoea! Find your full list of these foods HERE!

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Join me in my next blog post for how I have gotten on, for I shall be eliminating dairy from my diet this week. For a while now I have not been eating gluten, but for some reason I have suffered an IBS attack so great and so painful, there is something that now makes me believe it may be something else. I shall not be eating gluten either, for I feel much better without it regardless of it’s possible side effects. I hope to see some improvement with the swelling. I have written this as I lay in bed, unable to move without pain, never-mind go to dance class and reveal all in a skimpy leotard.

If there’s one thing I DESPISE about my condition, is that it makes me not want to dance. That’s how I know this is something that needs to be taken seriously.

Lots of Love, and good luck to our guts.

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Sweet Potato, Spinach and Lentil Soup with Cashew nuts

My Home-made soup to help heal and soothe a poorly tummy and gut

Last week was show week at Laine Theatre Arts, which also meant numerous trips to Costa Coffee and the sweet shop for an afternoon energy boost, then whether spoons later that evening for a post bowl of chips and a glass of wine. Safe to say, since then I have been feeling the side effects. My energy levels, digestive system, skin.. you name it, it’s caught up with me! (7 days worth of stage makeup didn’t help either) hello spots! *cries*

This being the case, I have devised a recipe full of all the necessary ingredients to give my body the chance to detox and heal. As a sufferer of IBS, my poor tummy has been in knots, so implementing root vegetables alongside taking an effective probiotic should soon soothe the pain in no time!

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The Ingredients!

  • 200 g lentils – These contain heaps of great vitamins needed for the bodies healing process. They’re packed full of folate, protein, fibre, manganese, iron, vitamin B1, B6, Zinc and potassium! The insoluble fibre within IBS helps prevent IBS and the discomfort that comes with it, which is especially important for me as I struggle implementing fibre into my gluten-free diet!
  • 1 avocado – Avo’s are packed full of antioxidants and are rich in Vitamins A, C and E, whilst also brilliantly being a strong anti-inflammatory – perfect for avoiding bloat!
  • 1 large sweet potato – These carbohydrates are fantastic sources of fibre, pottasium and manganese, which also serve’s as an anti-inflammatory! Also contains Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3 and B6
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach – A popular super-food, and for good reason. Spinach is rich in Chlorophyll and will give your soup that nice green colour! Again, a strong anti-inflammatory and contains high sources of vitamin K and omega 3.
  • 3 carrots – Brilliant for gut health due to their high content of vitamin A, C, E and fibre.
  • 1 red bell peppers – The red pepper in particular has the highest amount of vitamin C, which is perfect to fight against disease due to it boosting the immune system. Great for when you’re run down! They also have several phytochemicals and carotenoids which lavish the body with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits
  • Chopped dill 2 tbsp – Supports digestion by stimulating the digestive juices within the stomach. Research has also shown that it reduces the free radicals in the body
  • 1 handful of cashews (roughly chopped) – High in phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and magnesium, they support heart and bone strength!
  • 4 cloves of garlic – Potent but antibacterial, antiviral and an anti-inflammatory.
  • 1 brown onion – The phytochemicals in onions along with their vitamin C help to improve immunity… and mainly it’s in here because it makes it taste really good.
  • vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil – Only used for frying in this recipe so the benefits aren’t necessarily ingested. Read up on coconut oil here

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Continue reading “Sweet Potato, Spinach and Lentil Soup with Cashew nuts”

My Story – The Importance of Education in Health & Well-Being

READ IT AGAIN! ❤ → → The Importance of Education in Health & Well-Being

A bit about me….

the importance

The Importance of EDUCATION in Health and Well-being “improving your life doesn’t have to be about changing everything – its about making the changes that count” – Oprah Winfrey Before I start writ…

Source: Health & Fitness

FOOD PREP: FOR BUSY BEE’S LIKE ME

VEGETABLE LASAGNA

(and yes… it’s gluten free… surprise surprise!)


We all know how crappy student living can be. Do you ever get trapped in what seems to be a never ending routine of the same meals over and over and over again. It’s fair to say I’ve been stuck in a rut recently when it comes to my eating habits; tea time especially… or dinner for you southerners. Sorry! I will forever be a supporter of the old age northern argument, it’s most definitely BREAKFAST, DINNER & TEA – and supper if you’re lucky.

Here’s an example: 

  • Monday: Quorn Chicken and vegetables
  • Tuesday: Cod fillets and vegetables
  • Wednesday: Omelette with vegetables
  • Thursday: Quorn chicken with vegetables
  • Friday: Cod fillets with vegetables (or maybe chips with curry sauce if I happen to be out at 2am…..)  – but you get the gist.

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This dish has provided me with 6 meals to mix and match over the next couple of weeks. Just make sure you have enough freezer space…… you can annoy housemates if you have to use theirs….. oops.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 red peppers
  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 Carrots cut into sticks
  • 1 onion
  • I cal cooking spray
  • tomato sauce – I used Loyd Grossman
  • white sauce – Loyd Grossman
  • 125g ball mozzarella
  • handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • gluten free lasagna sheets (I used Asda’s own)

*be careful of what sauces you choose, some may contain wheat flour – if you’re not lazy like me then make your own!

Instructions:

  • Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
  • Deseed the peppers, halve, then cut into large chunks. Chop the ends off aubergines, then cut into slices around ½cm thick . Chop carrots into sticks and onions into small chunks (up to you really!) and half the cherry tomatoes.
  • Line 2 large baking trays with foil or grease, then place vegetables on top. Cover with the spray and season well for added flavour! Roast for 25 mins until lightly browned. I used paprika, mixed herbs, salt & pepper.
  • Reduce oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Lightly oil an ovenproof serving dish. Layer some of the roasted vegetables on the bottom, then pour over a third of the tomato sauce. Top with a layer of lasagne, then drizzle over a quarter of the white sauce. Repeat until you have 3 layers of pasta!
  • Pour the remaining white sauce over the top layer, making sure the whole surface is covered. Scatter mozzarella over the top. Bake for 45 mins until bubbling and golden.

and……

  • …… if you have an unhealthy desire for cheese like myself, go ahead and grate some extra cheese on top. It’s naughty, but sooooo good!
  • feel free to use literally whatever vegetables you want next time! because who doesn’t love experimenting!

lasagne

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SUNDAYS ARE FOR BAKING!

 

→ GLUTEN-FREE BLUEBERRY CAKE WITH LEMON DRIZZLE ←

 


– all pictures taken are my own – iphone 6: edited on VSCO & Afterlight – ©

I have been persuaded. ANYONE who tells me that gluten free food isn’t as good as regular food Is either 1. a liar or 2. hasn’t eaten this cake. Honestly, I have NEVER in my life made something and been so happy with the outcome.

We’ve all been there. We have had such high expectations for a cake. We’ve slaved away in the kitchen all day, followed the recipe religiously, and spent a fortune on ingredients, all in the hope that we can rely on Mary Berry or Betty Crocker to assist us in creating something delicious… only for it to come out of the oven with burnt edges and a soggy bottom.

But not this time. Served slightly warm, this moist and satisfying tea time treat is one I shall be making again and again from now on!

13334426_759821937493519_2117203817_oblueberry cake

 

 

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What you’ll need:

  • 50g blueberries
  • 125g gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 tsp wheat free baking powder
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 125g ground almonds

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease and line an 18-20cm round, loose-based cake tin with baking parchment.
  • Rinse the blueberries, pat dry and dredge in 1 teaspoon of the flour.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and 175g of the caster sugar until very pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg yolks and almond extract. Sift the remaining flour into the bowl and gently stir in.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a thoroughly clean bowl until soft peaks form.
  • SIDE NOTE: WHISKING THE EGGS BY HAND TAKES AN ETERNITY. USE AN ELECTRIC WHISK IF YOU’RE NOT POOR AND CAN AFFORD ONE 🙂 #studentlife *cries*
  • Gradually whisk in the remaining sugar. Stir in the ground almonds. Using a large metal spoon, fold a quarter of the whisked mixture into the creamed mixture to lighten it a little, then fold in the remainder whilst also adding 3/4 of the blueberry’s.
  • Turn into the tin and gently level the surface.
  • Scatter with the remaining floured blueberries. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until the surface feels firm and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a serving plate. Scatter with extra blueberries if there are any left and dust with extra sugar.
  • To make the lemon drizzle, mix together icing sugar and lemon juice to desire consistency then pour!

Hope you love it as much as we did!

Lots of Love

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